Angry, Controlling Fiancé Wants Me to Move In with His Parents
Dear Decision Time,
I am seeing a lot of red flags here. The behaviors you are describing—having to approve of what you wear, not “allowing” you to play online, watch movies, see friends, leave the house—none of this is OK. You have not done anything wrong. What you are describing are typical patterns of behaviors in abusive relationships. I am not saying that your fiancé is abusive, but the fact you say you are terrified of him and his anger is significant. Abuse can take many forms, not just physical.
Some of the warning signs of current and possible future abuse include:
- controlling behaviors
- isolation from family/friends
- blaming partner for problems
- blaming partners for feelings (“it’s all your fault”)
- using threats
You have described all of these behaviors in your letter, which concerns me. I do not doubt that you love him very much. The relationship that you have right now, though, does not sound healthy or balanced, and I am concerned for your well-being. Healthy relationships are not about control. Healthy relationships are not about punishing a partner for spending time with family. Healthy relationships are not about cutting a partner off from friends. Healthy relationships are not about ultimatums (threatening to break up with you if you do not move in). Healthy relationships are not marked by fear.
I hear you offering explanations for his behavior—stress at work—but this is not about stress at work. This is not just going to get better on its own. This is not a phase that he will come out of. In fact, these behaviors are likely to get worse, more intense, and more painful. Agreeing to move in is not going to make things easier or better. These issues will most likely be even more present, and you risk giving him even more control over your actions. You say he’s not giving you a choice, but you do have choices. I strongly urge you to connect with resources in your area to get some support with how to make choices that keep you safe and healthy.
Please take care of yourself,
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KaitlynMarch 15th, 2013 at 2:15 PM
Can you say run as fast as you can? Because I can
This guy is throwing up serious warning signs here and I think that you are failing to motice them. I don’t need someone to control my life quite this tightly other than me and I would probably say that you don’t either. Girl, it is time to look ahead and move forward because I see nothing good coming out of this.
reaganMarch 16th, 2013 at 6:02 AM
I know that right now you think that you love him, and in many ways you probably do. But think about it this way: does he really love you back, or does he like just having someone he can lord over and be in charge of? That and love are not the same thing, and I think that if you let him win on this one, then you are constantly going to find yourself in a position of giving up what you want in life to please him all the time, and that doesn’t sound like fun to me.
Les LeeMarch 18th, 2013 at 3:51 AM
I can’t even fathom why you would sign on for this even before you are married. . .
marlonMarch 18th, 2013 at 4:53 AM
no matter how long you’ve been together or the level of your relationship,nobody should control their partner to this extent.not only is it not fair but it is damaging to you in the long run.
dont move in,try talking to him and see how it goes.whether his love helps him understand your point of view will be evident.
ReneeMarch 18th, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Oh, my. I want so badly to be constructive, but I just can’t. RUN FOR THE HILLS! No matter what pain you may have from breaking up with him, it will be soooooooooooooooo worth it in the end!
sallie sMarch 18th, 2013 at 10:06 AM
u didn’t say whether he hits you or no but i can guess i was in the same place as u when i was 20 and i’m 43 now.
let me make myself clear under no way should u marry this man if u think he’s mean to u just wate til u have kids
then not only will u have to protect urself u’ll have to protect ur kids to. so then u’ll have to leave and go to a shelter with ur kids and be scared for ur life and theres. even if he goes to jail for what he did to u. u’ll always be lookin over ur shoulder.
let me make myself clear do not marry this man break up with him right now
NayaMarch 18th, 2013 at 10:08 AM
Yeah, this ain’t gonna get no better at all. Do yourself a huge favor and get out of that relationship now. Just be prepared for all heck to break lose when you do. It’ll get a lot worse before it gets better. Make sure you got security or something with you all the time. Good luck to you.
p hawkinsMarch 18th, 2013 at 10:11 AM
1. Break up with the jerk.
2. Get yourself into counseling and stay there for at least a year.
3. Commit to staying single for a year. Anyone worth anything will understand what you’ve been through and wait on you.
JeanieMarch 18th, 2013 at 10:13 AM
Please know that this is not your fault. You have done nothing wrong and don’t deserve any of this. Please get yourself away from this dangerous situation. It will be so hard at first and you’ll miss him so much. He’ll probably tell you how he loves you so much that he’ll change. At first, he will change and things will be great, but then everything will get bad again. Please, please take care of yourself by breaking this cycle and leaving him for good. You can’t go back to him at all, no matter how tempted you may be.
RuthieMarch 18th, 2013 at 10:28 PM
Education is power. Educate yourself. Pick up the book “Why Does He Do That?” by Lundy Bancroft. Read the whole thing. It may be a struggle to get through it and you may want to put it down and say it’s not about your or your boyfriend. Read it anyway. If you have to, tell yourself you’re educating yourself in order to warn “some other girl.” It may taste like medicine going down, but it’ll make you very strong. And isn’t it about time?
ClaireMarch 19th, 2013 at 11:20 AM
I hate to tell you this but this is only just the tip of the iceberg of how he is going to treat you if you do decide to make the mistake and walk down the aisle with him. he is showing you who he is right now- this is supposed to be the honeymoon phase where he treats you like a queen. If this is his good then I sure would hate to be around when he finally decides to show you the bad.
carlaMarch 20th, 2013 at 1:15 PM
your boyfriend sounds like an illogical and impractical person who would like to keep you locked up in a tower where nobody can reach you. get out before the relationship turns any worse. he could even harm you with what you have described.
“My problem is he wants me to move in with him and his parents.”
yet another step in taking complete control over your life.
“I don’t want to.”
There, you have your answer. Now say it straight and firm to your illogical boyfriend. You don’t have to trouble yourself over this crazy person, girl.
ShayeMarch 25th, 2013 at 8:30 PM
I know all this advice must be overwhelming u and it’s not easy. I fell in love with a TOXIC MAN much like ur fiance’. Do urself a favor, do an internet search on “TOXIC MEN” and u’ll see the articles describe ur fiance’ very well. Do u want to live a life with no friends or family, never making ur own decisions?…..do u want ur children to grow up in a house where daddy is someone to be scared of? PLEASE LOOK UP INFO ON “TOXIC MEN” AND THEN GET COUNSELING………you’re scared for a good reason. Listen to that voice.
CarolNovember 20th, 2014 at 3:34 AM
My daughter is in a relationship with someone who sounds very similar. This is her first relationship and she has lost herself completely in this toxic situation. Don’t lose yourself as my daughter has. Healthy relationships don’t cause this kind of turmoil. Concentrate on yourself and your future. If a relationship doesn’t uplift you and enhance your life or if it causes disharmony in your other relationships with your friends and family then it’s toxic and you can and must find the strength to walk away. First loves are just that, first but certainly not last and you deserve to allow yourself an opportunity to develop healthy relationships.
My daughter has completely cut herself off from her friends and family and chooses to remain in what we have recently discovered is now a physically abusive besides emotionally abusive and controlling relationship.
November 20th, 2014 at
Thank you for your comment, Carol. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about domestic violence at https://www.goodtherapy.org/therapy-for-domestic-violence.html and additional information about what to do in a crisis at https://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html
The GoodTherapy.org Team
BethOctober 26th, 2015 at 10:24 AM
All this advise… It’s all true, these women have been thru it, there is no mistake. Even now, he may still harass you, if he does, don’t wait you need to get in contact with an abuse center. You may think he will give up, get tired of it. But he is apt to be persistent. Please don’t gamble with your life, this man is serious bad news. For every person that wrote to you, you can count another 1000. Please learn from our experiences. Praying for you, Sister
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